Get out the list, we have another big name to add to the Parkhead scalpings. This time around it was three time European Cup winners Manchester United.
Get out the list, we have another big name to add to the Parkhead scalpings. This time around it was three time European Cup winners Manchester United – they would go on to the semi finals that year also.
Tue 21st Nov 2006
Celtic 1 (Nakamura 81) Man U 0
The game started slow like any other game really, after the epic encounter at Old Trafford one would safely assume this would take the same shape. The action started when a Louis Saha shot was easily collected by the formidable Artur Boruc. Up until midway through the first half the game was fast paced with little action, the Celtic midfield couldn’t get into it and the back were caught short with bad passes and poor play when I imagine all the Celtic fans in the world were going “Jesus, Naylor hoof it up the field this isn’t Partick Thistle.”
The game took a mid paced approach after that with a few bad tackles on both sides and very few chances; on the thirty-sixth minute mark Ronaldo took a shot where Boruc saved with his foot and McManus won the race to clear. The first half fizzled out with Celtic having the better of possession and play but with no conversion of chances.
The second half started with Evander Sno and Maciej Zurawski making way for the more creative duo of Shaun Maloney and Jiri Jarosik. Celtic appeared much better in the second half when Jarosik cracked one from 20 yards out only for Van Der Sar to save well, United coped well with the pressure although just barely.
The game turned United’s way when Neville won a corner only for Saha to put his header wide from the resulting kick. The game was fiercely competitive but with little chances but then on the 80 minute mark Vidic committed a foul against Jarosik and up stepped the man from Japan.
There were worried faces all around the United bench as not only have United first hand experience of his magic but seemingly everyone who plays Celtic know. The little fellow stepped up and my word what an amazing free kick leaving the flying Dutchman at United no chance as Shunsuke Nakamura bends one around the wall to silence the away support once and for all and justify the reputation as a fortress that Celtic Park has.
Now just under ten minutes to hold on, subs for United and a free kick was given when Scholes dived over the outstretched leg of Lennon, Ronaldo’s resulting free kick hits the wall……….. no wait Maloney’s hand, disaster at Celtic Park, penalty kick to United. Saha steps up to silence the home crowd but he fails and Boruc went the right way to palm it away – what a finish to an epic encounter from the champions of Scotland and England. A few nervous faces around Parkhead as Ronaldo stupidly shoots from 30 yards out only for Gravesen to block.
And then the whistle went and it read Celtic 1 Manchester United 0, to record three home clean sheets in the Champions League group stages; the crowd chants ‘EASY,EASY, EASY’, the list grew longer and it wasn’t about to stop either as next year AC Milan would join the prestigious list, knockout stages here we come.
Written by DavidT_CFC